A new tool now available at the fingertips of farmers and farm advisers will provide them with the upper hand in identifying and managing insect pests in south-eastern Australia.
The innovative online service known as pestIQ will, for the first time, provide farmers and advisers with access to all the resources they need for dealing with insect pests.
PestIQ is a web-based tool that has been designed and developed by cesar, an independent science and innovation company that has been working in the agricultural sector since 2006.
cesar’s Dr Paul Umina is encouraging agronomists, advisers and farmers to explore pestIQ, which he says removes the time and effort required to search for pest information.
“It also aids in the correct identification of insects, and gives users the confidence in their management decisions,” says Dr Umina, who outlined the new tool at recent Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Research Updates in the southern cropping region.
“Central to pestIQ is an internet service, which allows users to quickly access an array of information on pest and beneficial insects found in broad-acre pasture, cereal, oilseed and pulse crops. Using our custom-built functionality, this information is strategically linked to information on insect monitoring, insecticides and pest management advice.”
Dr Umina says pestIQ, available for viewing via www.pestIQ.com.au , has been developed in response to an identified need to streamline and simplify the process involved in sourcing information and support on insect pests in crops.
PestIQ brings together an array of referenced materials into one easy-to-use interface. This includes four interactive and comprehensive sections on insects, monitoring, insecticides and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
According to cesar’s manager of Sustainable Agriculture, Philip Jobling, the insect search engine allows users to quickly and accurately identify insects and to find information about their basic biology, lifecycle, damage symptoms and economic thresholds.
“Information is also provided on control options for each species, as well as an extensive image library,” Mr Jobling says.
“PestIQ's monitoring tools section enables users to search for information on the recommended monitoring techniques best suited to each insect group, time of year and crop type.
“Also included are step-by-step instructions on how to use these techniques in the field, equipment required and images.”
The insecticide section features a custom-built interactive database that allows users to search for insecticide control options by pest name, crop type, insecticide name or active ingredient. For all registered insecticides, critical information is summarised to assist with quick, accurate management decisions.
“This includes a spray rate table showing Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) registered use details including use type (bare earth, foliar, bait), application rates, insect pests, crop types and states where each insecticide can be used. Details are also included on the likely impact on insecticides on beneficial insects,” Mr Jobling says.
PestIQ has been designed to complement the highly successful PestFacts South-Eastern newsletter service, which has been produced by cesar for the past six years.
Supported by the GRDC, PestFacts South-Eastern is a free service designed to keep grain growers and advisers informed about invertebrate pest-related issues and solutions. Dr Umina says cesar will continue to provide PestFacts for Victoria and New South Wales in 2012.